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January 17, 2020

12/24/2019 9:44:00 AM
We are all human
As we are aware, public officials are always in the limelight and there is always a microscope on them. Unfortunately this past week, the microscope was on Iowa County Board Supervisor John Meyers.
In the Wisconsin State Journal, there was a reference to an email from John to Lafayette County Director Abby Haas that read, ""under no circumstances are they to be allowed to glean information and selectively report it in order to twist results."
We as journalists DO have an obligation to report information for its readers correctly. We know that there are two sides to the story, and fact checking is of utmost importance, especially for a community newspaper. The story published this week paints our Iowa County Supervisor in a light that makes him look like that he slammed all media. When that article hit the newsstands, Meyers did the right thing to discuss it with us. While it was feared that the Dodgeville Chronicle was included in this, we were happy to know we weren't. We have always had a good relationship with our Iowa County Board Supervisors and after a phone conversation with Meyers, that good relationship still continues.
People were in fear that our wells were contaminated, and after doing some further fact checking-which ALL media should do-we learned that simply wasn't the case. Our county was already aware that the wells, pulled from a larger sample pool than what the Journal Sentinel and other big newspapers reported, were contaminated and there will be more steps taken to ensure the source of the contamination. Water quality studies are a good thing and whether the results are good or bad, they help us take the next step to ensure our water supply is safe.
He was honest with us and said that he wrote the email in anger because it was AP that misconstrued the SWIGG water study information, not the local newspapers. Local newspapers are unique in the fact that when a press release comes in, we can always do follow up stories. We need to be fair in how we report things. We've all been there. We've wrote things in anger and it has gotten the best of us. Even county board supervisors are humans, and we have great respect for John and all of our Iowa County Board Supervisors. Thank you Iowa County for your great relationship with the local newspapers.

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